CHA Says High Temperatures Require Extra Care
By: Mike Stiles - Thursday, June 20, 2024

(photo courtesy of Pixabay)

(COLDWATER) - With the high temperatures and heat index expected for the next few days, drinking enough fluids is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heat-related illness.

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency says water is generally the best choice for keeping the body hydrated and healthy. Water will almost always maintain hydration when working in the heat. You should also eat regular meals to replace the salt your body loses when sweating.

CHA Medical Director Dr. Karen Luparello says during times of high heat, there will be an increase in the number of heat-related illness emergency room and doctor's visits. Proper planning and precautions against the heat can reduce your risk of heat-related illness.

You can reduce your risk for heat-related illness by: Dressing in loose fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing; Staying hydrated with plenty of water; Keeping strenuous activity to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day (11 AM to 2 PM); and Staying indoors and in the shade. Keep curtains and shades drawn to keep the sun out of your home.

If you don’t have air conditioning in your home you can go to a local cooling center or public building. In St. Joseph County, those are the Oaks Enrichment Center, 306 North Franks Avenue in Sturgis; the Rivers Enrichment Center at 1200 West Broadway Street in Three Rivers; the Three Rivers United Methodist Church at 215 North Main Street or Keystone Place.

In Branch County, if are 60 or older, contact the Burnside Center, 65 Grahl Road in Coldwater.

In Hillsdale County, you can go to the Hillsdale County Senior Center, 320 Bacon Road or The Salvation Army, 160 East Bacon Street in Hillsdale.

During these warm and humid days, please do not leave children or pets in vehicles. The high heat can cause severe illness and death in a short period of time if they are left in a hot vehicle.

Be a good neighbor by checking on your most vulnerable family members and neighbors. Senior and those with disabilities are at higher risk of a heat-related illness.

The signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, skin that is cold, pale, clammy, a fast, weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle or abdominal cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and headache. If you feel signs of heat exhaustion you should rest in a cool place, drink cool fluids, loosen clothing, and try cooling measures such as a cool damp cloth on the forehead and under your arm pits.

Heat stroke is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. The signs of heat stroke include still feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking fluids, not sweating even if you feel hot, you have a temperature of 104 or greater, difficulty breathing, confusion, loss of consciousness, or seizure. Contact 9-1-1 if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms.


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